Oh, how the tides do turn. As recently as a week ago, the Cleveland Browns seemed destined to draft Baylor QB Robert Griffin III with their fourth overall selection in the 2012 NFL draft, and some people even said they would trade up so they wouldn't miss him. In the last few days, the Washington Redskins have suddenly emerged as the new favorites to trade a king's ransom for the second or third overall pick and get Griffin instead. The new SB Nation 2012 NFL Mock Draft has been released and that's just what they have happening.
That puts the Browns into an unfortunate situation when it comes to their selection. The consensus top three picks in the draft seem to be Andrew Luck -- who is pretty much sharpeed onto most mock drafts right now going to the Indianapolis Colts -- Griffin and USC Tackle Matt Kalil, who most people have going to the Minnesota Vikings. The Browns have had a plethora of different selections mocked to them since the Redskins trade up started becoming the favorite move, and the SB Nation mock has them going back to an old standard that we haven't seen in a while, Alabama RB Trent Richardson.
Conventional wisdom nowadays says never to draft running backs near the top of the first round. Richardson, however, is the exception that proves the rule. He is a multi-talented athlete who runs with power, explosion and straight-line speed. He is a complete running back that will significantly upgrade Cleveland's stale offense.
Certainly the Browns can use any help they can get with their offensive game, and Colt McCoy hasn't been completely terrible running the Browns offense the past few years. Then again, there's always a chance that the Peyton Manning rumor train will start chugging toward Cleveland if it becomes certain that there's no chance they'll see Griffin III on their card come draft day.
For more on the Cleveland Browns, check out Dawgs By Nature. For more on the NFL Draft, head to Mocking The Draft or just check out the SB Nation NFL hub at sbnation.com/NFL.